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The Mood of the Nation 3rd Edition

SCA Research’s third Mood Monitor Report has revealed Australians are happier than they were at the same time last year. However, it seems the Federal Budget as put a bit of a dampener on how we have been feeling recently – being increasingly worried about healthcare, affordability of energy and education.

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The Mood of the Nation 3rd Edition

  1. 1. Mood Monitor How Australians are feeling right now. Edition 3, June 2014
  2. 2. In a nutshell…
  3. 3. Where we will take you Whilst our previous Mood Monitor report saw a breath of fresh air blown into the country, the recent Federal Budget may have put a bit of a dampener on things – in fact, 72% of Australians are concerned about the Federal Budget. Historically, a downturn in consumer sentiment is often seen after budget announcements, with a bounceback generally taking place a few months later. Whilst indicators show a bounceback has taken place, it hasn’t been quite as large as was hoped. While Australians do appear to be feeling concerned, 1 in 4 are feeling happy and 1 in 4 are feeling content. Additionally, 1 in 4 people believe that they will be better off financially in the second half of 2014. Overall there is still a feeling of happiness but just a bit of concern creeping in, seemingly caused by uncertainty about how the Federal Budget will affect their lives. So what are Australians happy and concerned about? What’s their greatest worry at the moment? Let’s take a look……
  4. 4. A word on segmentation in this report This report has been segmented into various stages of life that may impact significantly on how the world is perceived and the economic pressures felt.
  5. 5. Putting it into perspective Based on results from our previous studies, and this current one, we can ascertain the major influences on mood at the time of each of our Mood Monitor studies.
  6. 6. Australians are happier now than they were in June 2013 Overall people are slightly happier in June 2014 than they were in June 2013 – although they’re less happy than in October 2013. Possible explanations are that in October 2013, people were feeling refreshed and positive about the change in Government and the lead up to Christmas and the Summer holidays. Now there seems to be more angst associated with the Federal Budget and what that might mean for households. Empty Nesters are the most positive segment. This group seems to be positive because they’re in a comfortable financial position, their family life is good and they believe the future holds bright things. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2013 & October 2013, “When you think about your mood generally about your life, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe how you feel right now?’ June 2013 n=4066 October n=1128 June 2014 n=1434
  7. 7. We asked Australians how they felt about their current life, lifestyle, country and economy – and these are the words they gave us…… Overall, Australians are feeling positive – in particular content, happy and good. But what’s making them feel happy right now? Australians are happy and content Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2014, “When you think about your mood generally about your life, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe how you feel right now?’ n=1434
  8. 8. Australians are a positive bunch Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2014, “Thinking about your life overall, including your family, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe your MOOD right now? Why? n=154 Family, job and health remain the top 3 things making Australians happy right now. Family really does seem to come first for Australians with 1 in 4 respondents saying family played a part in their happiness. Who’d have thought their job would make Australians happy – but apparently it does. While many Aussies are just happy to have a job at the moment, for plenty of others, having a good job was an important factor in their happiness. Tied in with this was the satisfactory income people derived from their jobs, which allowed them to live comfortably. Australians are also grateful for having good health, which contributes to their happiness. In their own words…….
  9. 9. In their own words….why are they feeling happy? “My family are all currently well, and that is what is of most importance to me.” “Everything is great and I appreciate all the positive things surrounding me.” “Because my kids are happy and healthy. I have a job I love and I have terrific family and friends.” “I live in a lucky country with sat able government that seems to be in control. I have family close by and healthy happy grandchildren. I have my health and stacks of hobbies. While I am not wealthy I have enough to live on and keep me busy..” “For the moment money isn't a issue for me at the moment. I'm comfortable with what I make to be able to support myself and save. My family situation is great.” “Because i am content and grateful with what I have.” So let’s look at the range of moods people are in right now.
  10. 10. Happy & Content are common moods Overall, Australians still appear to be feeling happy and content. There is also a little bit of worry, stress and concern creeping in. The Family Flock appear to be the segment with the greatest feeling of concern, perhaps because they have a slightly larger household to care for. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2014, “Thinking about your life overall, including your family, lifestyle, country, economy etc, what ONE WORD would you use to best describe your MOOD right now?”’ n=1128 Free as a Bird N=249 Family Flock n=287 Empty Nesters n=141
  11. 11. All segments are happy and content Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2014, “And just so we can narrow it down a little, from the following list, which word or words best describes your mood at the moment?” n=1422 Free as a Bird N=251 Family Flock n=394 Empty Nesters n=237 Once we asked people to choose from a selection of ‘moods’, happy and content still came out on top. Positive and optimistic also start to creep in. So how do people feel the MOST right now?
  12. 12. People are mostly happy – but there is an underlying feeling of frustration and concern Overall people are positive, with 61% of people selecting positive moods when asked to choose how they’re feeling MOST at the moment. Content was the most common response, with more than 1 in 5 choosing that as what they’re feeling most at the moment. Additionally, 1 in 5 people are feeling happy at the moment. Whilst the majority of respondents chose ‘positive’ type feelings, there still remained an underlying feeling of frustration and concern. So what might be causing people to feel frustrated and concerned at the moment? Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2014, “And how would you describe how you feel MOST at the moment?” n=1422
  13. 13. Crime & violence has been overshadowed by healthcare as the top concern for Australians. The Federal Budget recently announced has certainly got people concerned. In fact, 72% of people are worried about the budget and how it might impact them. Twelve months ago, the top concern for Australians was energy availability & affordability. Six months later it was crime and violence. Our most recent Mood Monitor has seen that healthcare is now the top concern for Australians. Just like the bikie laws being covered in media during our previous Mood Monitor, this time around healthcare is a big issue being covered by most media outlets. It is becoming apparent that issues receiving high levels of media attention may be influencing what Australians are concerned about. Are different lifestages affected by different concerns? Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2014, “How worried are you about the following things....?” Very Worried n=1422
  14. 14. Empty Nesters are the biggest worriers, especially when it comes to healthcare. Whilst crime & violence were a concern across each lifestage in our previous Mood Monitor, it appears that the recent Federal Budget has triggered different concerns for different lifestages. Free as a Birds are worried about education, Family Flocks remain concerned about energy prices and Empty Nesters are very concerned about healthcare. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2014, “How worried are you about the following things....?” Very worried n=1422 Free as a Bird N=251 Family Flock n=349 Empty Nesters n=237
  15. 15. The Federal Budget also seems to have sparked concerns about the effect an interest rate rise may have – especially for Family Flocks. The majority of people (70%) were not impacted by the most recent interest rate decision (June 2014). However, this round of the Mood Monitor study has seen the highest percentage of people who would be ‘very worried’ if interest rates were to increase tomorrow. Most impacted seem to be the Family Flocks – almost 1 in 3 would be very worried if interest rates increased tomorrow, perhaps suggesting that family finances are already stretched at the moment. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2013, October 2013, June 2014, “If INTEREST RATES were to increase tomorrow, what impact would that have on your household?” Very worried June 2013 n=4063 Free as a Bird N=745 Family Flock n=1386 Empty Nesters n=500; October 2013 n=1131 Free as a Bird N=249 Family Flock n=288 Empty Nesters n=141; June 2014 n=1422 Free as a Bird N=251 Family Flock n=349 Empty
  16. 16. Australians are still concerned about grocery prices – but they’re getting used to them. It would appear that prices are still a concern for people but it’s almost as if they’re getting used to it. The June Mood Monitor report saw 93% of respondents saying that they had been impacted by rising grocery prices – 66% of them majorly or moderately. This is slightly down from the October 2013 Mood Monitor where 68% were majorly or moderately impacted. Families also went from 73% being majorly or moderately impacted in October 2013, to 70% in June 2014. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2013, October 2013, June 2014 “What impact has the rising cost of food prices had on your household?” n=4056 Free as a Bird N=745 Family Flock n=1386 Empty Nesters n=500 / n=1131 Free as a Bird N=249 Family Flock n=288 Empty Nesters n=141/ n=1422 Free as a Bird N=251 Family Flock n=395 Empty Nesters n=237
  17. 17. Why are Family Flocks feeling so worried? The reality is, Family Flocks just have a few more people to worry about – and possibly more financial pressures as a result. Expenses related to children, their needs, their education combined with the expenses of running a household can be worrisome. For Family Flocks in particular, the following things are causing them a great deal of worry. Source : SCAR Consumer Sentiment Study, June 2014 “What impact has the rising cost of food prices had on your household?”, ‘How worried are you about the following things....?”, ‘If INTEREST RATES were to increase tomorrow, what impact would that have on your household?’ n=395
  18. 18. So what does this mean? Historically, consumer sentiment can plummet at budget time and this year’s budget has certainly had that result in Australia. Whilst there has certainly been a degree of bounceback, as reported by the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment1, recovery may take a little longer this time around. Whilst each of our segments are concerned about the budget, they believe different aspects of it will impact them the most. Free as a Birds are concerned about education, Family Flocks about energy prices and the household budget and Empty Nesters are troubled by healthcare. But it’s important to put this dampened mood in perspective. The reality is, Australia still has plenty to be thankful for – one of the highest standards of living in the world, low unemployment, our national debt is the lowest in the OECD as a percentage of GDP, low interest rates, an exchange rate coming back on trend, and our deficits, while chronic, are low by OECD comparison2. Hopefully the bounceback predicted by many will take place in the second half of 2014. Source : 1. “Consumer confidence stabilises after post-budget slump”, ABC News online, 11 June 2014. 2. 2014 & Beyond, The World, Australia and Queensland,
  19. 19. Respondents All Respondents N=1422 20% 22% 25% 16% 17% 10% 14% 12% 12% 15% 15% 14% 8% 18-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-54 55+ Age breakout
  20. 20. Methodology The results of this survey are “INDICATIVE” ONLY. The survey was conducted by Southern Cross Austereo using its online panel nationally. The panel is obtained from our radio networks database under the labels of ‘VIP’ on the TODAY Network and ‘Music Jury’ on the MMM Network. All members of these databases would be considered listeners to these stations. The database contains about 246,000 members. Of these, approximately 20,000 are a part of our online community. The is split between the Today VIP database and the Triple M database. Members of both networks’ databases were asked to take part in the study, and over 900 did so. Additionally, 500 external respondents were recruited to complete the survey. Members of this database have no knowledge of Southern Cross Austereo’s involvement and aren’t necessarily listeners to either network. Certain questions asked for an ‘essay’ or ‘verbatim’ type of response OR brands/words that first came to mind. A keyword search was used to sort and rank the responses to these questions. The results are an un-weighted sample, but are reflective of the Southern Cross Austereo audience. SCA brands reach approximately 40% of the 10+ population and approximately 46% of the 25-54 population in the five metropolitan markets in Australia, suggesting it would be reasonable to consider these results to be a fair if not fully balanced representation of the opinions in these marketplaces. Furthermore, as it is an online survey, the respondents would also be skewed towards being ‘early adopters’ for technology, ‘trend setters’ in general and likely to be a good early indication of brand leaders, trend setters and early adopters in general. These research surveys conducted by Austereo are done so to provide a general understanding of the opinions, interests and attitudes of the metropolitan marketplaces only.

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